Ah, bacon. It’s been around for years, and most people have a love-hate relationship with it. There are many health myths surrounding bacon, with some faulting it for causing high cholesterol, being high in fat, and severe health conditions. While these might have a bit of truth to them, most are blown out of proportion. Bacon is credited with numerous health benefits and is a fantastic addition to your diet, provided you use it in moderation.
There are many benefits to bacon, and it has multiple valuable nutrients such as protein, B-vitamins, Selenium, and numerous minerals. Read on to find out how many benefits bacon has, how this piece of juicy breakfast food is beneficial for you, and how you can use it to your benefit.
Nutrients Found in Bacon
Bacon is meat, and there are multiple nutrients that your body needs found in bacon. Your body requires these nutrients since it doesn’t naturally produce them, and that alone should be proof enough that bacon is good for you. Some of the essential vitamins and minerals found in bacon include:
There are about 37 grams of animal protein in every 100-gram portion of cooked bacon. Your body needs protein to aid in cell and bodybuilding. Somebody parts that benefit from bacon include your hair and nails. Your body also uses protein to manufacture enzymes, red blood cells, among others benefits.
Bacon contains various B-vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12, which control some of the essential operations in the body. A deficiency of these vitamins can reduce the function of vital organs such as the heart, kidney, brain, and liver.
Some B-vitamins, such as Biotin (B7), Niacin (B3), and Pyridoxine (B6), help in breaking down fats and carbohydrates used during digestion. Others like Folate (B9) and Thiamin (B1) are involved in vital processes such as creating neurotransmitters, DNA replication, and cell division.
B vitamins are also involved in fighting anemia and supplying the body with energy levels. In addition, they facilitate the movement of nutrients through the circulatory system, so their deficiency can cause complications and affect normal bodily functions.
Selenium and zinc are essential minerals and antioxidants needed for good health. Selenium helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, helps maintain the health of your brain and the thyroid gland, and boosts the immunity system. It also helps your body fight health problems and maintains your overall health. Without antioxidants, such as Selenium, your cells can break down faster and compromise your health.
Phosphorous is also another useful and necessary nutrient that your body needs. It makes up 1 percent of the total body weight and is involved in forming teeth and bones.
Bacon contains small amounts of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. These are essential metals used in multiple vital processes, including red blood cell formation and oxygen transmission, nerve function, and regulation of muscles.
One of the things used against bacon is that it contains fat that can adversely affect health. Although bacon does have fat, it doesn’t have harmful fats. For example, it doesn’t contain trans-fats which are the most dangerous form of fat. Bacon contains less fat than many people attribute to it. BaconToday.com’s Boss Hog says that bacon contains less fat and cholesterol than other cuts of meat, such as chicken and beef.
Bacon has a lower fat content compared to its nutritional value. It is an excellent addition to those keeping a high protein diet and can be used as a protein supplement after exercise due to its high protein to fat content.
Bacon is a Source of Omega 3s
Omega 3 is a fatty acid commonly associated with nuts, flaxseed, and oily fish. Omega 3 is known to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, help with depression, and reduce Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms when taken in healthy quantities.
Bacon is one of the best sources of Omega 3 oils. However, you need to be careful with your bacon intake because modern pig feeding practices have changed the content of these fatty acids, increasing the content of Omega 6, which is unhealthy.
Bacon Can Improve Your Mood
Scientific studies have shown that an amino acid deficiency can cause common mental disorders like bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression. Your body creates neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline that help with improving mood, and the lack of them is one of the common symptoms of clinical depression.
The body uses amino acids to create these neurotransmitters, and so it needs foods rich in amino acids, such as bacon. These foods are part of a way to treat depression symptoms, among other treatment programs. Bacon is a natural mood enhancer known to encourage a positive mental state, which helps in the elevation of moods.
It also causes a happy effect after eating, just because of the sheer taste, which improves satisfaction and lowers stress levels. While bacon isn’t a cure-all for all mental illness and depression symptoms, it is a great way to enhance your mood, even for a short amount of time. And remember to always take it in moderation.
Bacon Reduces the Rates of Brain-related Illnesses
Choline is an essential nutrient, meaning you need it as part of your diet since your body doesn’t create it naturally. It is primarily found in meat and eggs.
Memory loss, odd behavior, and death can be caused by problems developing in the brain, and that is why choline is needed in the body.
Bacon contains choline, hence eating it improves brain health, reducing the rate of memory loss over time. It is also used to treat certain mental impairments, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Taking choline through bacon or other similar foods also contributes to faster cognition speeds and helps keep your brain healthy.
A Finnish study done on around 2,500 Finnish men shows that the risk of dementia was 28 percent lower in those with a higher intake of dietary choline than those with a lower intake.
Related: Different Types of Bacon Explained
How to Deal with the Health Risks of Processed Meat
Bacon is processed meat, and nutritionists are concerned that a high intake might increase the risk of acquiring heart disease or cancer. While there are dangers of eating processed meat, these studies are biased since they are done on people who lead an unhealthy lifestyle.
Bacon is a healthy and staple food in most low-carb diets, including the Ketogenic diet. This is because bacon has a high amount of sodium which is desirable in diets that don’t contain a lot of carbs.
However, processed bacon has a lot of dangers attributed to it. This is due to unhealthy pig feeding practices, and the manufacturing process which takes away some of the most needed nutrients. Processed bacon can include higher doses of fat and take away from the essential nutrients that your body needs, making it unhealthy for you.
To counter this, the best and healthiest option is making your own bacon. The beauty of it is that you can learn how to make your own bacon with multiple tutorials on YouTube and other sites online. Making your own bacon gives you control over the levels of nitrates or nitrites. This gives you more control over the chemicals used in the bacon, allowing you to take away some of the unhealthy practices used on processed bacon.
Another way to get healthy bacon is to find healthy sources if you don’t want to make it yourself. Some people suggest going to pig farms directly, while others choose to go to vendors they trust. If you choose to go down this road, ensure to look at what processes these suppliers use and learn all you can about the health benefits of their bacon before you buy it; to ensure you get all the needed nutrients.
Related article: How Long can Cooked Bacon Sit Out?
Bacon is a fabulous food with multiple benefits. However, it can also be unhealthy when not taken in moderation. Keeping bacon as part of your diet is a great way to improve your general health, as it comes with multiple valuable nutrients and healthy brain-preserving choline that helps in the boosting of your immunity. Nevertheless, it also contains unhealthy fats, sugars, and salts, hence you need to take it in moderation. Learn how to balance your bacon intake to get the best of its healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
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